Home / Travel / Surprising facts about the soon-to-close Waldorf Astoria hotel

Surprising facts about the soon-to-close Waldorf Astoria hotel

Part history lesson, part dream-like fantasy, part luxurious indulgence, the Waldorf Astoria (from $ 250/night) is an iconic New York institution.

But in a city where the only constant is change, we can’t expect hotels — even legendary ones — to be an exception.

This twin-towered goliath shuts down March 1 for at least two years for a renovation reported to total $ 1 billion so, to celebrate its past and with a nod to its future, we present its most impressive (and quirkiest) stats.


US commanders-in-chief who have stayed in its 2,245-square-foot Presidential Suite, from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush.


Red velvet cupcakes, which the hotel allegedly created, baked weekly in the massive subterranean kitchens.

The popular dessert’s signature recipe includes beets and vegetable oil instead of butter to keep the cake dense and moist; the sweet icing contains cream cheese and mascarpone.

Available at lunch ($ 14 for four) at the hotel’s Peacock Alley eatery.


The Waldorf’s height in feet when it moved from Fifth Avenue (where it was built in 1893) to its current location. That altitude made it the tallest hotel in the world when it opened at 301 Park Ave., between 49th and 50th streets, in 1931.



Rooms and suites. It’s unclear how many there will be (plus condos, too!) after the revamp.


Magic shows that sleight-of-hand whiz Steve Cohen has performed in a 35th-floor suite over the course of his 16 years in residence. There are still tickets left for Feb. 9, 11 and 26 performances at the Waldorf. Cohen will relocate his intimate act to the Lotte New York Palace hotel starting March 3 (from $ 85 a ticket).


Types of caviar (four) and smoked fish (eight) served at the decadent Sunday brunch in the hotel’s Peacock Alley restaurant ($ 145 per adult, includes a cocktail, and $ 85 for kids; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).


Full-time silver polishers the hotel employs.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post.

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